Yapton 3 Lavant 3

Brad Thwaites 88 min goal for Yapton set back Lavant’s promotion hopes in this hard fought battle.

The visitors started well and dominated the first 25 mins with a 2-0 lead. Dave Knight stole in to head a Ross Lines cross from the right past ‘keeper Luke Burrows with only 10 mins on the clock.

The 17 year old was there again 12 mins later to jab the ball home after Sean Gooding’s effort from a Dave Kennard cross had been blocked.

Lavant took their foot off the pedal and when the homeside broke away from a cleared Lavant corner-kick the midfield failed to retreat quickly enough and Alex Clark waltzed through to steer the ball into the Lavant net 8 mins before the interval.

At the restart, Yapton ‘s determination showed and a hard physical battle ensued. It looked like Yapton had stolen a draw when Hayden Aldred found himself in front of goal with only the Lavant ‘keeper to beat and drove the ball home 76 mins.

But the game took another twist as within 2 mins Lavant substitute, Justin Walsh, put the visitors ahead again from a Matt Hine corner.  Surely that was it.

But oh no! Lavant’s joy and hopes were crushed with Thwaites’s late equaliser.

The envied second spot in the league looks like going right to the wire to provide one of the most exciting ends to the season for some years.

Team: C.Bowles, D.Hall, T.Parker, M.Hine, B.Evans, B.Thomas, D.Kennard, M.Neville, R.Lines, D.Knight, S.Gooding. Subs: J.Walsh, D.Baker.

Lavant Reserves 0 Tangmere 3

Lavant Reserves this week faced a make or break fixture as they hosted Tangmere who were playing their last game of the season and who were only five points above Lavant in the league table.

Tangmere started the game lively, pinning Lavant back into their own half for much of the first 30 minutes.

Slowly Lavant started to get a foothold into the game and for the final fifteen minutes of the first half they pegged Tangmere back into their half of the pitch and should have capitalized on their continued pressure.

Firstly, Joe Hepworth broke clear on goal but was denied by Tangmere keeper Mark Longman.  Then a long ball forward by Robbie Pinder was totally misjudged by Longman as the ball bounced over his outstretched arms and was heading into the empty goal, but somehow he managed to get his fingertips to the ball to deflect it wide. And finally Tom Sheppard headed Hepworth’s cross 2 yards out towards goal, but it took a wicked bounce spinning over the cross bar.

Inevitably minutes later Lavant were made to pay for not taking their changes as a long clearance by the Tangmere defence was chased down by Wayne Jelly who broke clear and slotted the ball home past the out coming Lavant keeper Paul Czajka, 0-1. This set back was even worse for the fact it happened right on the stroke of half time.

Lavant started the second half brightly determined to get something out of the game and for the first ten minutes had Tangmere frantically defending their goal.  Then the game took a decisive twist when referee Joe Johnson awarded a dubious penalty to Tangmere, which Jake Williams gratefully accepted and scored, 0-2.

Ten minutes later Johnson even things up as he awarded Lavant a penalty for a minor infringement in the box, giving Lavant the perfect opportunity to get right back into the game, but sadly Hepworth’s spot kick smashed against the bar and out of play for a goal kick.

Lavant with 15 minutes remaining changed their formation playing three up front in an effort to get back into the game and from continued pressure Richardson headed against the post, then seconds later the game was over as Tangmere quickly counterattacked as Williams ran past the stretch defence scoring from a tight angle, 0-3.

Tangmere saw out the remainder of the game as they ensured their Division IV safety and by doing this also committed Lavant to certain relegation.

Next week Lavant Reserves play their last game of the season as they now fight to try to ensure they now do not finish bottom of their league.

Team: Paul.Czajka, S.Blackman, M.Ayers, S.Eastwood, J.Strange, Pete Czajka, G.Pinder, D.Richardson, T.Sheppard, J.Hepworth, R.Pinder. Subs: A.Strange, D.Kent.